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Schematics for functioning society. Zoomzer 08/19/2020 (Wed) 08:03:00 No. 306
Is there a basic schematic or framework that can contribute to building a good society? I'm hoping to delve into this question on this post, and see If I can analyze some possible factors in building a long lasting, and happy societal structure. It seems to many, on this website, that society has seen a continuous decline since an undefined period in history. Many try to point this mark at some point after WW1, which was an apocalyptic event to the European social order, and also began the decline of Pax Britannia, ushering in a new Era of Pax Americana. Many others point to the industrial revolution as the point where the "west" began it's general decline. As they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure", and on the left, it seems commonly to be thought that, rather than decline, the west has experienced a consistent upward trend in societal, and philosophical development, that eventually ended at the modern morals, and modern social structures; and that this progress continues, even now. I'd like to say, that personally, I don't believe either of these world views are entirely correct. Nor do I believe that any particular ideology, or school of thought can offer a catch-all solution; I believe that is a highly naive ideal to strive for, and also holds untrue to human nature, which is flawed. Maybe this contributes to my occasional annoyance with partisans on both sides, who seem to unthinkingly tow the line of their "side". Regardless of disagreements on both sides, I'd like to think that it may be possible to create somewhat of a basic framework, that can be agreed upon, that produces successful, wealthy, and happy societies. We need to start with some basic assumptions. I don't consider these assumptions particularly of great controversy, but if you disagree with me, then feel free to answer why, as I'd love to talk about it. 1: Human nature. I think the first assumption we have to make, is that past the dunbar limit, humans aren't naturally nice to each other, and will act according to our base programming (also known as lizard brain). I believe humans will act naturally, territorial, confrontational, selfish, and hostile, to other humans outside their "in-group". So the first dilemma with how to build a functioning society, past the dunbar limit (150 people), is how do we get ourselves to work together, for the greater good? Without taking good nature as a given. 2: As time goes on, errors, and small "gives" will slowly erode any structural, institutional, moral, religious, and philosophical structures in society. If this is taken as a given, we must figure out a way, to stop human nature, which is naturally entropic, from eroding pillars of the society, and eventually causing a collapse. We have a lot of words for this seemingly destined decline or decay of society, but my favourite is "decadence". I personally believe, that decadence tends to occur when resources, and human development is high, and humans begin to forget, or ignore, the dangers of unleashing human nature without moral guidelines, and laws. 3: Despite efforts to avoid structural, and sociological change, it will happen, the process can only be slowed. I'd also like to make the point, that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Societies and states essentially act as supra-organisms, made up of people, and on a macro scale, these organisms want what every organism wants. To replicate itself. But also like every organism, the society must adapt to it's environment, and change with time. The problem occurs when that change becomes too rapid, and spreads like a cancer, removing the basic pillars of the structure itself. It changes from gradual evolution, to cancer. With these 3 basic assumptions laid down, I think we can now get into the meat of some simple guidelines, to extend the "shelf life" of a society. The first fundamental step in building a society is to create a foundation myth.
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>>306 Or in other terms, create a simple, understandable, and compelling story, for why everyone in this society has something in common, why you should be nice to your fellow man, and why you should co-operate and take part in the society. Now, good thing for us, is that we've quite literally seen this happen hundreds of times throughout history, it's largely taken the form of Religion in the earliest societies. Religion, is kinda great for kickstarting societies, it takes quite complex themes, and philosophical undertones, and packages them in compelling, and understandable stories and moral lessons. Plus, it's great at defining who is in your ingroup, and who is in your outgroup, which is also key to defining a society. In a more modern sense, we use citizenship, language, race, and nationality as a definition of your societal ingroup and outgroup. Though many lands still use religion as a fundamental tool of unification. We also, use completely made up things, I mentioned this earlier, foundation myths. What is a foundation myth? It's a tale, usually grand, detailing in a compelling manner, the epic tale of the foundation of the society. For example in the USA, despite lacking a number of the common modern bindings of a nation state, the USA uses the American revolution, and the civil war, as a way of binding people to the IDEA of the USA. I'll define these things, religions, nationalities, foundation myths, races, languages, and citizenships, as unification devices. Societies use these, as ways to give members of the society common ground, regardless of differences, which the human mind loves to make big deals out of. This way, the soccer alpha, and the geek nerd, don't actually split out into different warring societies. A societal collapse is heavily tied with the breakdown of these ideals (cough cough, as we're seeing in the decline of USA). When people don't have this common ground, maintaining integrity becomes nigh impossible. Ok, so you've got your foundation myth set up, all good right? Nope, you now need to figure out what to do with your society. All complex societies need some kind of state, an entity, made up of lots of people, that handles the maintenance, and regulation of the behaviours, and livelihoods of humans. How do you justify this weird entity that tells me how to live my life? A state myth. Much like the foundation myth, the state myth essentially should justify why you should listen to the state, and why you shouldn't just REVOLT. For example, in the USA, the state myth, goes hand in hand with the foundation myth. The American revolution, and specifically the idea of "democracy" and the Constitution, which is essentially a holy entity. Both these ideas solidify why this power structure should be trusted, and maintained. In feudal societies, and even in renaissance monarchies, it was a bit different, the myth of the state, was the myth of the Monarch, which was tied to religion, and the divine right to rule, from God, to the Monarch, licensed by the church. Before the protestant, and industrial revolutions, you could call the catholic church, the greatest supra-national political organisation to ever exist in Europe, with every King and Queen licking the popes boot. So now you've got your state, and a great well written myth for why you should be trusted, and why your society is cool. What do you do with your fancy new Socio-political structure? So the basic goal of a socio-political structure, should be to maintain the current structure, instill the core values of the structure into the next generation, and evolve stably with time.
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>>307 But, that's all pretty self evident, so what's the real way to make a nice society? This is up to debate, but in my view, the society should encourage virtue, and morality, according to the values, and culture of the society. There are many disagreements on what morals, and what values, are correct; but what all values and morals should contain is the idea, that people should strive to treat others in a manner that they would like to be treated themselves. And, furthermore, in a manner that creates a SUSTAINABLE society, for example, a society that encourage burglary, theft, and fraud, would very quickly end up destroying itself, like a blackhole. Corruption, is essentially what occurs, when a society begins to lose this concept, or is never given this concept, for example, most of South America, the majority of Africa, and a lot of Eastern Europe. People take for themselves, due to human nature not being bent and shaped with the ideas of sustainability, and the idea of putting into the society, so you can benefit in return. Thus people think only for themselves, and the society decays, due to the fact that it no longer really is a society, and more of a dead carcass that people loot. I'm now unfortunately running out of space for text, and so I'd like to wrap this up succintly. Societies built on strong unification devices, with cultures of sustainability, mutual gain from cooperation, and good governance, will eventually, no matter what, begin to accrue material wealth, and also begin to weather the effects of decadence. It must be the consistant goal, of all generations, to leave an improved, and involved system for the next, while preserving the values, myths, and culture, of the society. If you've noticed, I've left ideology largely out of this, because I think these concepts hold up regardless of ideology, and apply to every ideology. I think these are largely the signs of a healthy society, and ideology, tends to mainly be the details. Maybe I'm entirely wrong on this, and I'd love to hear some thoughts, and criticisms from the Zoomerchan community on this. Thank you for reading. Feel free to message me if you're interested in hearing more. Through discord, or email. Stay based.
Edited last time by zoomzer on 08/19/2020 (Wed) 08:06:55.


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